Category Archives for Uncategories
If chipmunks are eating your flowers or tomatoes and digging up your plant bulbs, you are probably at your wits end. A number of options are available on how to keep chipmunks out of your gardens and away from your cherished plants.
Before you can begin to take into consideration the best option to help you keep chipmunks off your garden, you need to keep some issues in mind.
First, chipmunks are nimble and small. They can tunnel, they can climb, and they can squeeze into tight spaces.These traits in the furry animals have a tendency to complicate the options at your disposal for their deterrence.
Second, they are fuzzy and diverse media have implanted this pleasant impression of how cute they are. Trapping them or using fatal repellants against them therefore feels so appallingly cruel.
Third, you must remain aware that they are protected animals in some states. As such, you need to look up your local laws prior to choosing which method to apply in keeping them away from your cherished plants.
With these issues in mind, below are eight ways in which you can go about protecting your garden and beloved crops from chipmunk attacks.
How To Keep Chipmunks From Eating Tomatoes
Spread around your tomato crop items whose smell chipmunks despise.
Sprinkling some blood meal around the root stems of your tomatoes, or placing un-chewed fragrant gum sticks within your tomato garden, go a long way in keeping these animal pests away from your tomato crop.
Give your pets freedom to roam outdoors particularly around your tomato crop. Letting your cat or dogs out in the garden yard often frightens chipmunks away.
You can also prepare a hot sauce or pepper concoction solution and spray it on to the surfaces of your tomato plants.
As an alternative, you can sprinkle cayenne pepper on your plants. This way, you will keep the furry animals away from your tomato crop.
Remember, however, that capsaicin, an active chemical ingredient in cayenne has toxic traits against beneficial pollinators, such as bees. As such, if your tomato crop relies on such pollinators, apply something else rather than a hot pepper spray, chili powder, for example.
You can keep away chipmunks by attracting their predators, a method to work with nature to protect your tomatoes.
Put up an owl box in order to attract the owl predators to your garden. This way, you will have owls taking care of, not only chipmunks pests, but also rats, mice, moles, and voles.
How To Keep Chipmunks From Digging your garden
One way to go about preventing chipmunks from digging up your garden and crops is to remove features that provide them with cover as they dig for food.
As such, remove rock or woodpiles near your garden and trim back plantings.
In addition, these animals love rock walls and shrubs since they provide convenient venues in which to hide.
They love to hide within such venues until the coast is clear for them to start digging up your garden for food.
In this regard, removing these types of structures and plants from around your home garden makes your yard less attractive and more dangerous to the furry animals to dig in peace.
To keep the fuzzy animals from digging up your flower bulbs, plant them in bulb cages or beneath a plastic or wire screen ground cover.
How To Keep Chipmunks Out Of Potted Plants
The most basic methods at your disposal to keep chipmunks away from digging up your potted plants involve putting up physical deterrents. These work through curtailing their digging instincts.
One method involves placing a woven hardware mesh around your potted plant in its container. Remember to make provision for enough room to allow your plant stems to grow without the sharp woven wire mesh edges causing any damage.
Cover this woven hardware mesh with a thin layer of mulch or potting soil, whichever one that you prefer.
Another method involves spraying or sprinkling squirrel repellants around or on the plant container. Remember to follow the manufacturer instruction manual recommendations keenly to avoid mishaps.
Finally, keep away or remove anything that could attract the fuzzy animals to the vicinity of your potted plants.
Spilled birdseed, for example, presents chipmunks and various other small pests with a major attraction.
Plants That Repel Chipmunks And Squirrels
Squirrels, like their smaller chipmunk cousins, are avid foragers and can be a massive nuisance to a gardener. They spend inordinate periods gathering food, eating it, and storing away some of this food for future consumption.
They are quite persistent, will dig holes, and chew their way through nearly anything that stands in their path as they pursue a tasty meal. Rather than nibble on shoots or flowers the way rabbits and deer do, squirrels tend to dig downwards to pull up and munch bulbs.
Fortunately, there exists plants and plant bulbs that squirrels tend to avoid. Planting plants that squirrels detest can give you respite from their annoying onslaught.
Such plants have tastes and scents or odors squirrels and chipmunks abhor. In that regard, when it comes to methods involved in keeping squirrels and chipmunks away from your beloved garden, a good idea would be to think with your nose.
The lists of plants squirrels abhor include galanthus, fritillaries, alliums, and daffodils. Others are lily-of-the-valley, geraniums, and hyacinth.
Besides repelling various animals away from your garden, these plants are lovely border plants.They also provide early spring bursts of color around your yard trees and between your shrubs. A number of them are hardy perennials in several climates. They will add colorful drama to your garden.
The animal repelling plants will also thrive in those shady sections around your garden. Furthermore, their scents may be abhorring to foraging pests but extremely pleasant to the human sense of smell.
Chipmunk Resistant Plants
There are certain plants that chipmunks tend to avoid, despite the nuisance they are. These plants also tend to be pollinator friendly and grow well within diverse climatic environments.
Plants that chipmunks do not eat come in two general categories. These are perennials and annuals. The traits that these plants have that chipmunks detest include perennials with fragrant foliage. Such fragrant plants include bee balm, lavender, catmint, and hyssop.
Another trait in plants the furry animals detest is hairy leaves. Toxic traits in plants too, such as foxglove, mean chipmunks leave them alone.
Perennial plants you can grow in your garden that chipmunks will not eat include monarda or bee balm, Echinacea or purple coneflower, goldsturm or black-eyed Susan, hyssop, phlox, delphinium, spiderwort, and milkweed.
Other perennials are sneezeweed, yarrow, butterfly bush, irises, evening primrose, lavender, ornamental onion, chives, carmint, sedum, daffodils, and lupine.
On the annuals list of plants the fuzzy animals will avoid are celosia, zinnias, dahlias, cosmos, alyssum, petunia, ageratum, lantana, snapdragons, calendula, heliotrope, annual salvia, marigold, and calendula.
It is good practice to cut off spent flowers. This is especially on marigolds, zinnias, cosmos, coneflowers, or anything else that tends to form a tempting seed head once bloom is gone by.
Once you do this, you will not only prolong the blooming season but also encourage re-blooming. This is while removing tempting seeds chipmunks love to store and eat from your beloved garden.
How To Keep Chipmunks Out Of The Garden Naturally
An easy and entirely natural way to keep these animals from your garden is to provide them with food, away from your garden, where they cause damage.
The rationale behind this strategy is that if the animals have an easier access to their food, they will not make the more difficult choice of foraging or digging for food in your garden.
The animals have natural enemies. These include snakes, owls, dogs, and cats, among many others. Encouraging these enemies to patrol your garden goes a long way in protecting your cherished crops from chipmunks.
You could set out mothballs against the pests. Simply place mothballs near your crop of tomatoes, around chipmunk habitation holes, and around the foundation of your buildings that house potted plants.
These mothballs will not eliminate chipmunks from your environment. However, they will push these critters way back to the perimeter of your garden yard and away from your cherished plants.
Sprinkling hot spices, cayenne pepper, or chili powder for example, around areas chipmunks frequent in your vegetable beds or flowerbeds works perfectly as a deterrent.
Peppermint works diligently as a natural chipmunk repellent. Plant peppermint plants around your garden to repel the animals. A spray mist of water and pure peppermint oil drops on your plants is an excellent natural chipmunk repellant.
Other natural repellants include spraying with ammonium soap, predator urine, and castor oil concoctions.
How To Get Rid Of Chipmunks
Once chipmunks begin making a habit of chomping your garden and landscaping, it is time to get rid of them with finality. At your disposal are numerous trap varieties and natural deterrence methods.
Traps present you with an effective avenue to rid your garden off chipmunks.
Being small animals, the same traps used against rats work just as well.
In addition, snap traps and live traps present you with differing ways of disposing snared chipmunks.
Snap traps will kill the animals leaving you with a corpse to dispose.Live traps,on the other hand, present you with an opportunity to transport humanely snared animals to more suitable locations. This is in respect of prevailing laws.
Seeds and nuts for example sunflower seeds and peanut butter are excellent bait for the traps you opt for.
Away from a snap and live trap, you can also use a bucket of half-filled water as a lethal trap.
Lean a wooden beam against the water half-filled bucket.On the wooden beam, on the ground around the bucket, and in the water, scatter sunflower seeds.
The chipmunk will fall into the water half-filled bucket and drown.
Most often, the dead chipmunk will have an infestation of mites, fleas, and various other critters. As such, always wear gloves whenever you handle and dispose the dead animals. Remember to wash your hands afterwards too.
A common and powerful homemade chipmunk repellent consists of a hot pepper and pureed garlic combination.
Steep these two components in a cup of hot and soapy water and allow the water to cool.
Strain the concoction and into it add a tablespoon of oil.
Shake the resultant concoction and pour it into a spraying bottle.
Use the spraying bottle to mist plants that you wish to keep chipmunks from.
Commercially produced repellents promising to repel squirrels from your garden will also effectively repel chipmunks.
One such repellent is thiram once it is sprayed on plant bark, stems, and bulbs.
Flakes, naphthalene, or mothballs placed around a garden housing your cherished plant crop works just as well.
So does any commercial product that contains thiram, nicotine sulfate, bitrex, polybutune, and methyl nonyl ketone crystals.
Of note is that these products must never be applied to plants that will be consumed by humans.
An application of these products requires repeat performances because watering and rainfall wash away the product from the plants they are supposed to protect.
You can make your own homemade chipmunk repellent quite easily.
Mix a teaspoon of Lysol, three ounces of Epsom salt, and a gallon of water.
Make a mist spray of this concoction and apply onto your cherished plants to keep away marauding chipmunks.
Chipmunks are an important aspect of the natural ecosystem that surrounds your garden yard.
Their importance lies in that they consist of the major meal item of numerous larger animals.
They are also critical in spreading certain environmentally important fungi and plants.
That being said, however, chipmunks have a tendency to destroy all that hard work you have put into your favorite plant crop and landscape. In other words, chipmunks are often a destructive pest.
To deal with this menace, exclusion forms the best and most effective avenue to deal with them. Where container potted plants feature, physical deterrents could help in controlling their digging instincts.
Should these forms of deterrence prove ineffective, fatal repellents and snap traps may be an effective last resort.
Is it true that there are vegetables that grow in clay soil?
You know clay has its advantages but being good for vegetables is not one of them.
So when I discovered some vegetables actually do well in clay, I felt like shouting “yippee!”
And I swore to share them with you.
So, if you want to know about crops for clay soil, hold on right there.
Why Clay Soil Is Frustrating
First, I am sure you would like to know what makes clay so stubborn as far as growing greens is concerned.. .
Now, Plants (and useful microbes) will need oxygen so as to access important nutrients.
However, naturally, clay soil is highly compacted, and dense thus it has little aeration.
Thus, growing plants hardly reach the nutrients.
In addition, it drains water poorly and instances of standing water are ever so common in wet weather.
Come to spring and it further irritates crops by taking forever to warm.
The bottom line is that even the most daring crop will find it very hard to survive such tough conditions
Improving clay soil
you can make clay more vegetable friendly by Improving it.
Here are some approaches I take:
- Add grit, sand, or fine gravel
This is an incredibly simple way to breathe life into your stubborn clay. Adding these materials improve aeration.
But there’s a catch:
These components are expensive and largely impractical, especially on large scale. Still, even if you just have a small yard, you need significant quantities of these materials.
- Organic materials
Applying Rough organic materials can help aerate it. I am talking about items like straw, chopped leaves, garden compost, and even weathered compost.
These materials also build fertility.
Mulch protects your sticky earth from impact. This improves soil moisture levels while reducing weeds.
If your mulch is sourced from organic materials, you get a bonus of better fertility
All in all, improving clay soil gives wonderful results. The problem is that it takes time.
Okay? Very good!
Now, let’s me introduce your long-awaited crops that thrive well in clay soil (vegetables)
vegetables that grow in clay soil
Now, there a couple of things you need to know:
- First, shallow-rooted vegetables tolerate—and even benefit from heavy clays because such clays are highly stable.
- Then, Other root crops, such as daikon radishes plus potatoes, help in breaking up heavy clay soil.
- Lastly, heavy clay soils warm slowly, hence you can forget about planting early spring crops.
Finally, here is my high-value list of the veggies to plant in clay:
Broccoli- like most brassicas- requires heavier soils .
When grown in clay, broccoli doesn’t need heavy watering provided your soils’ moisture content remains at acceptable levels.
- Brussels sprouts
These cabbage relatives actually yield firmer heads when planted in clay soil and really thrives in cool weather. Remember to keep an eye on the soils Ph and moisture content.
- CabbagesCabbage grows well in almost all soils, provided that it’s well drained. Thus, be sure to amend your clay soil with compost before planting.
To add nutrients, you can Apply compost tea or fish emulsion around a month after planting.
Cauliflowers survive in clay also. However, work your soil by adding compost or mature manure before planting.
Kale prefers loamy soil types (sand, silt & clay). Add enough compost plus aged manure in soil preparation.
Bean plants aren’t choosy when picking their growing conditions. They, therefore, thrive in compact clay soil, provided it’s amended with compost
These plants generally grow well in almost any soil. Avoid over watering them when planted on clay, as flooding water encourages wilting on top of root rot diseases.
Potatoes reduce compaction and prefer gardens heavy in organic matter and with a fairly acid pH
- Daikon radish(Forage radish)
This again helps break up your clay soil. It matures without many preparations.
Both winter and summer squashes do well in all clay soils. However, add rotted manure or lots of compost to aide drainage
Pumpkins are not that fussy regarding soil texture. However, they still require fertility. So add one spade of well-rotted manure or compost to every hill during planting.
- Bulbs like onions and leeks
These shine in well drained and fertile soil. Raised beds, enhanced with more compost are recommended. You can also apply fish emulsion/compost tea to encourage fast growth.
- Swiss chard
Swiss chard tolerates enriched and well drained clay soils. You just add a lot of compost when preparing the soil.
Final Round Up
If you were to ask them, Even vegetables that grow in clay soil will tell you that they prefer excellent drainage and top fertility.
Amending your clay soil makes the conditions friendlier to clay-loving vegetables and improves your harvest.
With your soil well worked, you will happily grow and enjoy rich vegetables like broccoli, kale ,Brussels sprouts, cabbages, potato, cauliflower, bean, daikon radish and pea
And those are the vegetables that grow in clay soil.
Herbs and vegetables are an essential part of our diets in various ways. There is no better feeling than having a well-prepared vegetable dish or a savory dish made of the finest herbs.
However, the quality of both the herbs and vegetables is crucial. It is highly advisable to grow your own herbs and vegetables due to many reasons as explained below:
- Growing your herbs and vegetables ensures you the best quality.
Whenever you plant your vegetables and herbs, you take care of them with special attention since you understand that the products will be a part of the dish you will serve your family. Freshly picked vegetables have the best flavor as well as nutritional value as compared to those bought from supermarkets. When it comes to herbs, you have the ability to use them while they are fresh and hence flavorful.
- It is much cheaper
A variety of herbs in the market is expensive. This is due to their fragility and scarcity to satisfy the demand. Additionally, you may have to spend money on transportation to acquire the produce that you could just have planted in your backyard.
There are certain herbs such as rosemary and thyme that can last for years. They will save you the trip to the market as well as the revenue you may need. All you need is a seedling which will give you more cuttings which will give you’re a surplus supply for a long while.
Also read: Best garden genie gloves for your hands
- Ensuring you have a variety.
Planting your produce assures you of a variety of what you would rather have on your plate. You have the control that you need on what you cook instead of being forced to use what is available in the market only.
There are certain vegetables and herbs that are difficult to come across in the market and when they are available, they are expensive. To keep up with your budget, consider getting a seedling, cutting or just seeds of the herbs as well as the vegetables you prefer and starting something on your own. For herbs, rosemary, thyme, basil, and parsley are a good place to start. Vegetables such as kale, spinach, and other traditional vegetables could be suitable.
- Assurance of food safety.
Most of the food products that we buy in the local markets or the supermarkets are grown and harvested by other people. This makes it difficult to tell if the produce was handled with sanitation in consideration. When preparing vegetables, we often do not cook them on high heat in order to preserve the nutrients. This could be hazardous in case the vegetables were contaminated with pathogens such as e-Coli and salmonella which are difficult to get rid off.
Additionally, there are certain chemicals that are added to plants while in the garden to keep away pests or to enhance the fast growth of the vegetables. A majority of these substances are not fit for consumption and could have various side effects on consumption. There is nothing as satisfying as having the control of what you put into your body.
- Gardening improves the well-being and health of the farmer.
Once you begin a small kitchen garden, you are self-driven to start eating what you plant. This is helpful since vegetables like broccolini are very healthy as compared to eating junk food and other high calorie based foods.
Gardening is also considered to be a very peaceful, rejuvenating activity. It enables the gardener to slow down with the rush of life and instead focus on cultivating and reconnecting with nature. There is also a soothing pride in producing from the earth.
- It is a fun, elevating activity for kids
Children in this era prefer to stay indoors and play video games or watch movies. These are activities that barely bring any qualities into a child’s life. On the other hand, gardening allows the kid to go outdoors. Additionally, they gain a sense of responsibility as they nurture their plants to maturity. Whenever a child plants something that they believe is to be consumed, they will look forward to the day it will be palatable. When the vegetables are mature, the child will gladly eat the vegetables which are vital for their growth and development.
- Help in building communities
Vegetable gardens always have a way of bringing people and neighbors together. Having a herbs garden will attract the attention of those who do not have their own and are curious on how to go about the activity. There will be those who would want to learn how to go about it while there are those who would like to have a bite to taste. A good way of getting more friends in your neighborhood.
- Positive environmental impact.
Having your kitchen garden has a significant impact on the environment. To begin with, you get to avoid using harmful chemicals that spread into the soil, water, and the air. Additionally, the pollution caused by the burning of fuel during transportation of the produce is cut down greatly. This may be a small but great way to start caring for nature.
- Reduces wastage of food.
It is common to buy produce in the grocery store and find that it has gone bad or tastes unappealing. Additionally, when picking food from the garden, you will only take what you need.
In case you have leftovers or excess food it is easier for you to handle it since you are assured of its freshness. On the other hand, you can use the stale food as manure in the garden.
With all that said, who would not like to have perfect health, peace of mind and control that comes with nurturing your food. It gives you the ability to enjoy the fresh and highly flavored food. The quality of what you consume is outstanding.
There is a variety of what you can plant as well as simple guidelines on how to start. With or without a big space, there is always a way that includes aerogarden herb pod kits, potting the herbs, urn planters, use of grow bags , or even planting the vegetable vegetables in sacks.
Start a kitchen garden and enjoy your health.